I wrote this today for a "project" that I'm working on for tomorrow. The assignment was to write no more than a page on what you are proud of and why.

Here's mine:

I’m sure a lot of people write about the accomplishments they have earned at work, or the awards and sales driving tactics that have made them the best at their job.  If I asked the advice of my mentor, my sister, or my dad…they would shake their head and tell me to play it safe.  But that’s not me. I like to take calculated risks, and be honest.  And this is something I am truly proud of. 

A little over one year ago, I decided to leave everything familiar and move across the country for a job in NYC.  I had been to Manhattan once before, and had fallen in love with it immediately. I packed up a few boxes, and shipped them across the country to an apartment I had found in one weekend with my mom.  I left my mom and dad, my pregnant sister, my friends, my work, my car, my dogs…all for the unknown.

I remember the first 3 weeks of sleeping on air mattress, taking the subway to and from work, eating cheese and crackers, and venturing out on the weekends to find a grocery store with organic food, produce that looked edible, and Bob’s Red Mill products.  Within a few weeks, I found all those things and this concrete jungle started to feel a little more like home. 

One evening during March Madness, I took a walk down my block and found a bar where I could watch the game and hopefully meet some people.  I was desperate for friends.  Sadly to say, I didn’t meet anyone that I’m still friends with now, but I did realize that I was here to stay. And I was going to keep trying. 

Working at Macy’s NYC proved to be a challenge as well. As I previously learned from my coworkers in the Northwest at Macy’s, several of them had grown up with the company.  Many started as sales associates in stores, or began their careers in the buying training program immediately following college.  They knew the ins and outs of every system, and people in every part of the company.  I came from a very different background…but one I was prepared to use in my favor.

In the first six months of my job, I learned every system necessary to analyze the business, all reporting, ROF and VMT’s, theories and best practices, “The Macy’s Way,” established a mentor, and created a name for myself within the organization.  I utilized my contacts from the field and my firsthand experience in specific Macy’s strategies to ask for direct feedback on selling in regions and districts in order to maximize the profitability of my buys.   I helped to develop an assistant who was promoted after a quick 9 months. I ran a $50M annual sales business to achieve +9% to plan and +2% to LY, with one of the highest margins in the company.  I drove key items and maximized floor space with detailed zonograms that benefited every level of door.  I negotiated a major brand launch to drive 20% of my sales for Fall 13. 

And I did all of this 3000 miles from “home.”

So, I am most proud of the fact that I was brave enough to follow my dream and come to NYC to be a buyer.  And that a year later, I can say that I’m a master at my job, I have a lot of friends, and everything is working out just fine.  

I’m even beginning to call NYC home.

{a couple runs, a fun trip and being thankful}

{backwards jealousy}